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Impact of the Pb and Zn ore mining industry on the pollution of the Biała Przemsza River, Poland

Jabłońska-Czapla, Magdalena, Nocoń, Katarzyna, Szopa, Sebastian, Łyko, Aleksandra
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2016 v.188 no.5 pp. 262
anions, atomic absorption spectrometry, cadmium, carbon, carbonates, cations, ion exchange chromatography, lead, metalloids, mining, pollution, river water, rivers, sand, spring, summer, surface water, toxicity, water quality standards, watersheds, zinc, Poland
The development of mining and metallurgic industries of Pb and Zn ores in the Biała Przemsza catchment area has had a strong influence on the condition of the surface water and bottom sediments. In the following study, total contents of metals and metalloids were researched in the water and bottom sediment samples from the Biała Przemsza River. The samples were collected monthly in 2014 at five sampling points along the river. The research helped to determine correlations between the parameters and components of the water environment (metals/metalloids, cations/anions, pH, Eh, conductivity, carbon (TOC, IC, TC), and suspension). The contents of metals and metalloids were determined with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), whereas anions and cations were investigated with ion chromatography (IC). The simplified Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) three-step sequential chemical extraction was performed on Biała Przemsza River bottom sediments collected in April, July, and October. At its lower course, the Biała Przemsza River water did not meet the Polish surface water quality standards. The Biała Przemsza River water is mainly loaded with metals. Toxic concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn were observed at sampling points in Okradzionów and Sławków. The toxic Tl concentration was exceeded (2–6 μg/L) at three sampling points. The Biała Przemsza River bottom sediments were composed mostly of medium and fine sand. The BCR extraction of the bottom sediments demonstrated that Cd and Zn were bound to cations/anions and carbonates loosely adsorbed on the bottom sediments in spring and summer. Such a situation was observed at all the sampling points, except for BP3 in Okradzionów. The organic carbon concentration increased along the river course.